BELTRACCHI- THE ART OF FORGERY

a film by Arne Birkenstock

 

FILM INFO

Year: 2014

Country: Germany

Runtime: 93 mins

Color

Language: German

Subtitles: English

 

DVD

 

Special features

 

  • Interview with Wolfgang and Helene Beltracchi
  • Interview with Filmmaker Arne Birkenstock
  • Art Authenticators Visit Beltracchi’s Studio

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Synopsis

Credits

Reviews

Festivals

Press Materials

For nearly 40 years, Wolfgang Beltracchi fooled the international art world and was responsible for the biggest art forgery scandal of the postwar era. An expert in art history, theory and painting techniques, he tracked down the gaps in the oeuvres of great artists – Max Ernst, Fernand Léger, Heinrich Campendonk, André Derain and Max Pechstein, above all – and filled them with his own works. He and his wife Helene would then introduce them to the art world as originals.

What makes these forgeries truly one-of-a-kind is that they are never mere copies of once-existing paintings, but products of Beltracchi’s imagination, works “in the style of” famous early 20th-century artists.

 

With his forgeries, he fooled renowned experts, curators and art dealers. The auctioneers Sotheby’s and Christie’s were hoodwinked, just like Hollywood star Steve Martin and other collectors throughout the world.

 

In “Beltracchi - The Art of Forgery”, Wolfgang and his wife Helene Beltracchi chat openly – and with great

wit and charm – about their quixotic adventures in an overheated art world ruled by blind greed, and in

which apparently no one has an answer to the question as to what is an original, and what is a forgery... Beltracchi is an engaging rogue, a warm-hearted husband and father, and an impossibly self-confident artist. Full of witty dialogues, the film shows Beltracchi's incredible talent as a painter and reveals his expertise in forging paintings from the early 20th century, which were so masterfully done that art experts, museums and auction houses around the world were duped and exposed. The film is directed by the award winning director Arne Birkenstock (“Chandani And Her Elephant”, “Sound of Heimat – Germany sings”).

CREW

Directed:

Arne Birkenstock

 

Screenplay:

Arne Birkenstock

 

Producer(s):

Arne Birkenstock, Helmut G. Weber

 

PRESS QUOTES

"Without any doubt he is the biggest forger of our times”

VANITY FAIR

 

"Beltracchi's work on a piece in the style of Max Ernst;

this 'Ernst-Beltracchi' could easily pass for one of the Surrealist's better "forest" paintings."

The Hollywood Reporter

 

"There’s something thrillingly Robin Hoodish about an art forger like Wolfgang Beltracchi."

grolschfilmworks.com

 

AWARDS

 

German Film Academy Award “Lola“ for “Best Documentary“, 2014

Nomination as „Best Documentary“ for the Award of the German Association of Film Critics 2014

German Film Academy Award “Lola“ for “Best Documentary“, 2014

Nomination as „Best Documentary“ for the Award of the German Association of Film Critics 2014

PLAYDATES

 

 

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